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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Tyne Bridge KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source Parliament record
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On March 11, 1982, on passage from Hamburg bound for Brazil, the Tyne Bridge encountered a North Sea storm and started to split badly around frame 65. Such was the captain's concern, he arranged for the majority of the crew to be airlifted to safety. The ship was towed to Hamburg for repairs. Inspection of the Tyne Bridge in dry dock showed that she had not been built to design.


source www.nautical-heritage.org.uk
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In March 1982, one of the Derbyshire's sister ships, the Tyne Bridge encountered severe weather in the North Sea, and her deck plating started to crack just forward of the bridge in an area known as frame 65. It was found that the damage was caused by a defect in the frame 65 area. The four other remaining sister ships were contacted. Each one in turn found similar damage in the same location as shown in the sketch involved.

This source goes on to claim that the misalignment of the longitudinal bulkhead at frame 65 was as much as 35 mm, but does not say on which ship. (Woinin indicates it might have been Cast Kittiwake which was originally the Sir John Hunter, IMO 7328798.)


source Faulkner, RINA Transactions 2001
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Then 18 months later in March 1982, the Tyne Bridge experienced severe brittle fracture in the upper deck when in ballast in the North Sea. A 2.8 m crack propagated away from the port aft corner of No 9 hatch opening, and a 4.7 m crack propagating from a weld burn aft of frame 65, but travelled inboard and forward to cross frame 65.


source Woinin
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1982-Mar.11. Cracks occurring near frame 65 on TYNE BRIDGE when sailing on ballast from Hamburg to Brazil. They were 19 feet on stb, 11 feet on port side. Most of the crew evacuated, vessel returned to Hamburg


source CTX
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Another of the ill-fated Bridge class. See Kowloon Bridge.

The parlimentary debate indicates that the Tyne Bridge, Sir John Hunter/Cast Kittiwake/Kona/Sam Hunt, and the Sir Alexander Glen/Ocean Monarch/Ocean Mandarin were modified "to the original design" implying that the fault was corrected; but the Kowloon Bridge and Derbyshire were not.

But the repairs were not completely successful. Here's a couple of posts from Ships Nostalgia:

By Choan: Certainly, by 1986-7 when I sailed on her [Sir John Hunter], the repair work on the vessel was far more extensive. She had extensive doubling plates, extra repair work, extensive large brackets in pump room along bulkhead. The repairs, especially the cracks, were inspected every three days according to the ship's standing orders, in case of cracks re-appearing, or new ones making an appearance.

By Frary: I sailed on Sir John Hunter on 1974-1975. [At this point, the ship was less than a year old.] We had two cracks on deck between 8 and 9 hatches. When we got to Japan, we took on 20 Japanese welders who stayed with us all the way to Oz and then to Cape Town.

Woinin. 1993-09_17. Ocean Mandarin, formerly Sir Alexander Glen, sistership of Derbyshire, blacklisted by Richards Bay coal terminal. ... it was in such bad condition, it would not be allowed again unless it was blown up and totally reconstructea ...d

Woinin. 1997-02-07. A former master of the Sam Hunt (ex Sir John Hunter), after reading an article in Tradewinds wrote a letter to the DFA stating that the area around Frame 65 had been strengthened with a steel plate 24 mm thick running from one side to the other.

The Tyne Bridge was scrapped in 1987, the Sir Alexander Glen in 1994, and the Sir John Hunter in 1997. The original ship of the class, the Furness Bridge was not build with the discontinuous bulkhead. She was in turn the Lake Arrowhead, Marcona pathfinder, World Pathfinder, Ocean Sovereign, and scrapped in 1992.

By the way, the yard managed to lose all the drawings of the modified desgin at frame 65, when interest started to build in that area,